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Snow Geeseelow the majestic snow-covered peak of Mount Shasta, huge flocks of geese and ducks attract impressive numbers of Bald Eagles and other raptors, which provide exciting observations and photo opportunities for birders who need a lift from the winter blahs along the border of California and Oregon. Most birders head directly to Tule Lake and Lower Klamath refuges to see the concentrations of geese, ducks and scattered birds of prey. Check the huge flocks of Snow Geese for smaller Ross' Geese, and try to separate White-fronted Geese from the Canada Geese they resemble in poor light or at a distance. Up to 15 species of ducks can be tallied, and Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, Red-tails and Rough-legged Hawks are the most abundant raptors.

Besides these species, variety is the key to birding the Klamath Basin refuge complex, which provides diverse options to explore. Exciting sightings can range from a Bald Eagle winter roosting site at Bear Valley NWR, where 200 to 300 Bald Eagles can be seen during January and February mornings; to Sage Grouse at Clear Lake NWR; Blue Grouse, Northern Goshawks and other forest birds at Klamath Marsh NWR; and endangered Spotted Owls, Mountain Quail and a variety of woodpeckers at Upper Klamath NWR.


The Klamath Basin and geese are synonymous to winter birders; check Snow Goose flocks for smaller Ross' Geese.

This area is remote, but most birders stay at Klamath Falls, Oregon, although some of the area's smaller towns have quaint motels. Contact Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges (916) 667-2231 for information.

View a Bird Checklist for this region:


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